The recent terrorist attack which killed 12 people in Berlin has darkened the Christmas celebration with sadness, the Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson has said.
In his Christmas morning sermon at Christ Church Cathedral, Archbishop Jackson also addressed the centenary commemorations, Brexit, the Republic and the North as well as the refugee crisis.
“Our celebration is tinged and darkened by the sadness of grief and suffering, of death and loss as we remember the people of Berlin who are very recent sufferers in an international terrorism that seeks to distort the name of major world faith, that of Islam, and has been relentless throughout the year 2016,” he said.
On the refugee crisis, Archbishop Jackson said displaced people bring a mixture of self-preservation and community for others.
“They hold together experience and expectation. They bring to life a mixture of self-preservation and community for others, however hastily improvised, however impoverished it is compared with their old life, however resented by the host their fearful arrival may be. Life itself gives so many of them life when there seems to be no scope for life old or new. They call us forward,” he said.
He added that the eucharist in Ireland and the Middle East are the same. “This is the voice we long to hear in the streets and the neighbourhoods of Aleppo. It is a city of men, women, and children almost annihilated by the forces of politics and war.
“There are also those fortunate enough to flee and to leave carrying their own or their children’s saline drip as they stagger on like Beckett people. The Eucharist is a thanksgiving and a celebration, a witness and a rejoicing in salvation freely given by God, time after time, to God’s people everywhere.”